Far-right council members in Huntington Beach, California have voted to end Pride, Black and women’s history months celebrations.
The council voted 4-3 Tuesday evening to replace heritage and pride months celebrations with new monthly themes focusing on the city’s history and legacy, according to the Orange County Register.
Council members asked for the formation of a 9 person committee to work closely with the Historic Resources Board to develop the 12-month program for future celebrations in 2025. Council members have already proposed themes for next year which include the discovery of oil in the city, surfing and preserving nature.
These new monthly themes will replace the previous monthlong celebrations of Black history, women’s history and Pride.
Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark and councilmembers Casey McKeon and Pat Burns wrote in their report submitting the proposal that the new themes “would be intended to be free of any identity politics and political agendas.”
McKeon, one of the three councilmembers who proposed the changes said he had been learning new things about Huntington Beach’s history which he “can only imagine that the majority of our residents are unaware of.”
This led him to the idea of replacing monthlong celebrations that acknowledge the contribution of historically marginalized groups to society with monthly themes about “what it means to be a charter city” and “We Love Our Libraries.”
The program is “designed to honor the rich, historic heritage of not only Huntington Beach, but the United States and California as well,” McKeon said. “That’s the rich, historic heritage that we all share.”
Some council members were not on board with the idea and think it is a waste of time.
“I think that this proposal, while perhaps rooted in good intention, raises fundamental questions about the role of our council and priorities of our city,” Councilmember Natalie Moser said.
Councilmember Dan Kalmick said most of the themes that are being proposed are things that people already learn in school.
“Some of this is not relevant to Huntington Beach,” he added, according to the Orange County Register. “Revolutionary War? We weren’t even part of the British territory at the time … I don’t know why there is a rush to implement some of this.”